Journey to the Unknown

by Lindsey Stripling
 

Bonfires, pumpkin carving, apple cider, candy corn and scarves.  Fall has definitely arrived.  There is a distinct beauty fall brings: a refreshing coolness after the sweltering heat, the leaves turning from various shades of green to vibrant oranges, reds, yellows, purples and browns, even the air smells different: clean and crisp.

With the new season, God has turned my life upside down in a very dramatic way.  I don’t understand a lot of it, but changes are popping up so abundantly I’m not sure any part of my old life exists anymore!  So, as I stare out the window and watch fall come in, I can’t help but liken it to the changing season in my life.

Needless to say, the coming of fall has helped me have a better understanding of how all this change will work together for my good.  It’s amazing to me how God created all of nature including the change in seasons to teach us not only about Him, but our own lives.  The climax of summer can only have meaning when tempered with the dissonance of fall and the restfulness of winter gently rising again for spring; it’s all a glorious symphony.  I’ve had my summer, and now I’m faced with new challenges that are pushing me beyond my self-made limits.  However, I know the discomfort I’m feeling will ultimately lead to the promise of spring and a newness of life.

Nevertheless, change is hard. There’s no question about that.  Change brings forth vulnerability, exposes our fears and insecurities, and stretches us farther than we thought possible.  It’s scary as we journey to spring–our land of promise.  There could be (and usually are) giants in the land of milk and honey.  (Numbers 13)  It really comes down to trust. Do we really trust in God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty that all of these changes, trials and tribulations will ultimately lead us to a land of promise?  Furthermore, do we believe that the Promised Land is worth the discomfort, or are we too scared to even embark on the journey? Do we let fear cripple us causing us to turn back toward the bondage of Egypt, longing for the familiar?

God longs for each of us to have abundant joy and an outpouring of His love and mercy.  It’s hard to believe in that fact since our culture inundates us with false hope, promising success and sex as the fulfillment of our desires.  We’ve all bought into the lie one way or another, and it has left us grasping for more because it never satisfies.  The world has shown me that it offers nothing more than an illusion-a shadow of the truth.  However, our desires will only be fulfilled by Truth and Love Himself who placed each desire deep within us before the foundations of the earth.  It’s unconventional and against the mainstream to choose God’s way.  He takes us the way where there are giants, but it is He who fights our battles-not us.  When we keep our eyes on Him and cling to His steadfast hand, we rest assured that He will always lead us home.

So, I challenge each of us to DECIDE to leave behind the fear and doubt of the unfamiliar and journey into the unknown, trusting in Jesus to guide us and bring us through, seeing the beauty in the fall of our lives.  When Satan tells you that none of the discomfort is worth it (which he will) and winter comes in and you can’t find any hope, simply look outside and take a lesson from creation and its Creator: Spring is a promise and it always comes.  Find your hope in the One Who makes all things new.

Oh, and every year hath its winter,
And every year hath its rain–
But a day is always coming
When the birds go north again.When new leaves swell in the forest,
And grass springs green on the plain,
And alders’ vein turn crimson–
And the birds go north again.
Oh, and every heart hath its sorrow,
And every heart hath its pain–
But a day is always coming
When the birds go north again.’Tis the sweetest thing to remember,
If courage be on the wane,
When the cold, dark days are over–
Why, the birds go north again.-Unknkown

Check out the song that has inspire Lindsey:

Even the Winter by Audrey Assad!

 

       Lindsey Stripling is a bright and energetic Southern gal, who hails from the state of Tennessee. A recent transplant to Indianapolis, Lindsey is also a recent convert to the Catholic Church. Her driving goal in life is to be a blessing to others through service.

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